Nestled on the picturesque western coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, Kona beckons travelers with its enchanting blend of natural wonders, rich cultural heritage, and a vibrant spirit. From its pristine beaches and captivating marine life to its historic landmarks and epic outdoor adventures, Kona offers a plethora of unforgettable experiences. Prepare to immerse yourself in the magic of Kona as we unveil the top 10 things to do in this tropical paradise.
1. Snorkel with Manta Rays
Dive into the crystal-clear waters off the coast of Kona and embark on an awe-inspiring journey with these graceful giants of the sea. Snorkeling with manta rays is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as you glide alongside these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
2. Explore the Volcanoes National Park
Venture inland to the renowned Volcanoes National Park and witness the raw power of nature. Discover the smoldering craters, ancient lava tubes, and breathtaking landscapes shaped by centuries of volcanic activity. Don’t miss the mesmerizing sight of the glowing lava at the Kilauea volcano.
3. Visit Historic Kailua Village
Step back in time as you wander through the quaint streets of Kailua Village, also known as Kailua-Kona. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the region by exploring the Hulihe‘e Palace, a former royal residence, and the Mokuaikaua Church, the oldest Christian church in Hawaii.
4. Sample Kona’s Famous Coffee
Indulge in the world-renowned Kona coffee, known for its smooth flavor and exquisite aroma. Visit a local coffee farm to learn about the coffee-making process, from bean to cup, and savor a freshly brewed cup while enjoying the lush surroundings.
5. Snorkel at Kealakekua Bay
Discover the underwater paradise of Kealakekua Bay, a protected marine sanctuary teeming with vibrant coral reefs and a kaleidoscope of tropical fish. Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters or embark on a kayak excursion to fully immerse yourself in this aquatic wonderland.
6. Experience a Traditional Luau
Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture by attending a traditional luau. Enjoy an evening of captivating hula performances, tantalizing Hawaiian cuisine, and the warm hospitality that the island is renowned for. Don’t forget to try the kalua pig, cooked to perfection in an underground oven.
7. Hike to Captain Cook’s Monument
Embark on a scenic hike along the rugged coastline to reach Captain Cook’s Monument. This historical site commemorates the famous British explorer’s arrival in Hawaii and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding turquoise waters. Take a refreshing dip or snorkel in the pristine bay before making your way back.
8. Visit Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park
Step into the past at Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau, a sacred place of refuge and a glimpse into ancient Hawaiian culture. Explore the reconstructed temples, royal fishponds, and learn about the traditional practices that shaped the lives of the island’s inhabitants.
9. Explore the Black Sand Beaches
Discover the unique beauty of the black sand beaches that adorn Kona’s coastline. Punalu’u Beach, with its striking black sands and palm trees, is a favorite spot for sunbathing and spotting endangered green sea turtles basking in the sun.
10. Sunset Sail along the Kona Coast
End your Kona adventure in style by embarking on a sunset sail along the captivating Kona Coast. Relax on deck, savor tropical cocktails, and witness the sky ablaze with vibrant hues as the sun dips below the horizon, creating a breathtaking spectacle.
Kona, Hawaii, is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences, blending natural wonders, cultural heritage, and endless outdoor adventures. From swimming with manta rays to exploring volcanic landscapes and immersing oneself in traditional Hawaiian customs, Kona offers a unique and captivating journey for every traveler. Embark on this extraordinary adventure and create memories that will last a lifetime in the enchanting embrace of Kona’s tropical paradise.